Prosecutor won’t seek death penalty in Waynesville murders

Samuel Sallee (Provided Photo)

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Prosecution won’t pursue the death penalty for the man accused of killing four people in the small town of Waynesville in May.

Bartholomew County Prosecutor William Nash said on Thursday he will instead pursue a life sentence without the possibility of parole for Samuel Sallee.

Sallee is charged with murder in the deaths of Katheryn Burton, Thomas Smith, Aaron Cross and Shawn Burton. They were killed May 11 in what investigators have said they believe was a drug-related quadruple homicide.

Nash said he couldn’t explain all of his reasoning for the decision to avoid the death penalty, but he did say he spoke with about 20 family members.

“I was impressed not only by the careful consideration each of them had clearly given to the death penalty question in this case, but also by the remarkable familiarity they displayed with the issues involved,” Nash wrote in a statement to the media.

Many of the family members worried about the lack of closure a death penalty case would provide. According to Nash, the average time between the crime and execution for recent Indiana death penalty cases was 19 years and seven months. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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